Construction class launches show

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By Gentry Appleget

Mr. Allan Figy’s second level construction class was awarded a Greenwood Education Foundation grant to build a house in class. While it was not the size of a real house, it was quite the step up from the glorified dog house his students had built one year prior in his level one construction class.

“The introductory class (his level one class) actually builds a small house. It is just a little grade school play house, and they build them and then we end up recouping our costs for materials because the parents can buy them and set them in their yard. So I thought this next level would be to build a bigger, more complicated and realistic house,” Figy said.

Figy applied for a grant from the Greenwood Education Foundation, or the GEF, and won.

“I got a good-sized grant from the GEF so I could buy the plumbing supplies, the electrical supplies, the lighting, the windows, the doors, and all that stuff,” he said.

The project wasn’t just to have fun and pass time, but rather one of the best teaching opportunities for the construction veteran.

“On this project I can teach Foundation, I can teach framing, I can teach roof frame, siding, installing windows, and installing doors inside the house. We’ve got flooring we’ve got cabinets, we’ve got a kitchen sink, a vanity, and a toilet,” Figy said.

This project isn’t planned to be a one time thing as Figy has plans of recycling the materials each year to reach as many students as possible.

“All of this came from the grant and the idea of the grant was I purchased it one time, and then every year that we build, tear down, and rebuild this house the next year, more students are reached by the grant money,” Figy said.

Just building the house wasn’t enough for Mr. Figy and his students though.

“I wanted to do a remodel addition give them something more to do, so we added the front porch which included the floor, the supports, the bearing headers, the rafters, the trim on the end, and building a hand rail,” Figy said.

On top of the porch addition, Figy plans on renovating the interior of the house as well.

“We are going to go inside in about a week and remodel the kitchen by adding another cabinet. Then we are going to do a poured concrete countertop as well,” Figy said.

Just like the house itself, the remodel gives Figy countless opportunities to teach.

“I can teach remolding as a part of construction because not everybody does new construction. A lot of people do remodeling,” Figy said.

Figy would rather teach by building a house than drawing it out on a white board.

“I use it as a teaching tool to actually do these things rather than to read about doing them,” he said.

The students enjoy Figys new teaching tool.

“My favorite part about construction class is when we are downstairs building on the houses,” sophomore Aiden Crist said.

Crist enjoyed working on the new porch as well.

“My favorite part about building the porch was learning the new tools to build the porch and the right cuts to make the porch look right,” Crist said.

While doing the remodel, Figy wanted to show parents and GEF members how the grant money was used.

“I was thinking about the show on TV called This Old House. Now I don’t think young people watch it, but old people watch it. What I was thinking was, why don’t we develop our own little tv show to show parents and other people interested in what we are doing,” Figy said.

Tasked with filming the show was senior Jason Maya and Sophomore Mauricio Moreno.

“We are making a video for Mr. Figy and our broadcast class on how the construction clas built the patio and every step involved,” Maya said.

The project is time consuming but will be well worth it in the end.

“His construction classes work on it four times a week for the past three weeks now,” Maya said.

While the project is time consuming and not his easiest project yet, Maya said it has been one of his favorite broadcast projects.

“It was so cool seeing how they built the patio and all the little steps involved. It was just neat seeing something like this happen at GHS to,” Maya said.

Figy wants to use this project and his class in general to show students a pathway after high school many are unfamiliar with.

Figy said, “I’m just trying to show students that maybe aren’t headed down that Core 40 pathway, that there is another pathway after high school.”